A New Hole in Syria-Sarin Certainty

Special Report: A new contradiction has emerged in the West’s groupthink blaming Syria for an April 4 chemical attack, with one group of U.N. investigators raising doubt about the flight of a Syrian warplane, reports Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

The U.S. mainstream media is treating a new United Nations report on the April 4 chemical weapons incident in Khan Sheikhoun as more proof of Syrian government guilt, but that ignores a major contradiction between two groups of U.N. investigators that blows a big hole in the groupthink.

The guided-missile destroyer USS Porter conducts strike operations against a Syrian air base on April 7, 2017. (Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Ford Williams)

Though both U.N. groups seem determined to blame the Syrian government, the frontline investigators from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) reported that spotters of departing Syrian military aircraft from Shayrat airbase did not send out a warning of any flights until late that morning – while the alleged dropping of a sarin bomb occurred at around dawn.

The report by the U.N.’s Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic noted that “two individuals interviewed by the OPCW claimed that on the morning of 4 April the early warning system did not issue warnings until 11 to 11:30 a.m., and that no aircraft were observed until that time.”

If the OPCW’s information is correct – that no warplanes took off from the government’s Shayrat airbase until late in the morning – then the Trump administration’s rationale for launching a retaliatory strike of 59 Tomahawk missiles at that airfield on April 6 is destroyed.

But the U.N. commission’s report – released on Wednesday – simply brushes aside the OPCW’s discovery that no warplanes took off at dawn. The report instead relies on witnesses inside jihadist-controlled Khan Sheikhoun who claim to have heard a warning about 20 minutes before a plane arrived at around 6:45 a.m.

Indeed, the report’s account of the alleged attack relies almost exclusively on “eyewitnesses” in the town, which was under the control of Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front and allied jihadist groups.

The report also gives no attention to the possibility that the alleged sarin incident, which reportedly killed scores of people including women and children, was a staged event by Al Qaeda to reverse the Trump administration’s announcement just days earlier that it was no longer U.S. policy to seek “regime change” in Syria.

The Khan Sheikhoun incident prompted President Trump to launch the missile strike that, according to Syrian media reports, killed several soldiers at the base and nine civilians, including four children, in nearby neighborhoods. It also risked inflicting death on Russians stationed at the base.

Lost History

In the U.N. commission’s report, the possibility of a staged event is not considered even though the OPCW had previously uncovered evidence that a chlorine-gas attack in the rebel-controlled town of Al-Tamanah, which also was blamed on the Syrian government, was staged by Al Qaeda operatives and their civilian “relief workers.”

The photograph released by the White House of President Trump meeting with his advisers at his estate in Mar-a-Lago on April 6, 2017, regarding his decision to launch missile strikes against Syria.

OPCW investigators, who like most U.N. bureaucrats have seemed eager to endorse allegations of chlorine-gas attacks by the Syrian government, ran into this obstacle when townspeople from Al-Tamanah came forward to testify that a supposed attack on the night of April 29-30, 2014, was a fabrication.

“Seven witnesses stated that frequent alerts [about an imminent chlorine weapons attack by the government] had been issued, but in fact no incidents with chemicals took place,” the OPCW report stated. “[T]hey [these witnesses] had come forward to contest the wide-spread false media reports.”

In addition, accounts from people who did allege that there had been a government chemical attack on Al-Tamanah provided suspect evidence, including data from questionable sources, according to the OPCW report, which added:

“Three witnesses, who did not give any description of the incident on 29-30 April 2014, provided material of unknown source. One witness had second-hand knowledge of two of the five incidents in Al-Tamanah, but did not remember the exact dates. Later that witness provided a USB-stick with information of unknown origin, which was saved in separate folders according to the dates of all the five incidents mentioned by the FFM [the U.N.’s Fact-Finding Mission].

“Another witness provided the dates of all five incidents reading it from a piece of paper, but did not provide any testimony on the incident on 29-30 April 2014. The latter also provided a video titled ‘site where second barrel containing toxic chlorine gas was dropped tamanaa 30 April 14’”

Some other “witnesses” who alleged a Syrian government attack offered ridiculous claims about detecting the chlorine-infused “barrel bomb” based on how the device sounded in its descent.

The report said, “The eyewitness, who stated to have been on the roof, said to have heard a helicopter and the ‘very loud’ sound of a falling barrel. Some interviewees had referred to a distinct whistling sound of barrels that contain chlorine as they fall. The witness statement could not be corroborated with any further information.”

Although the report didn’t say so, there was no plausible explanation for someone detecting a chlorine canister in a “barrel bomb” based on its “distinct whistling sound.” The only logical conclusion is that the chlorine attack had been staged by the jihadists and that their supporters then lied to the OPCW investigators to enrage the world against the Assad regime.

The coordination of the propaganda campaign, with “witnesses” armed with data to make their stories more convincing, further suggests a premeditated and organized conspiracy to “sell” the story, not just some random act by a few individuals.

The Ghouta Attack

There was a similar collapse of the more notorious sarin incident outside Damascus on Aug. 21, 2013, which killed hundreds and was also blamed on the Assad government but now appears to have been carried out as a trick by Al Qaeda operatives to get President Obama to order the U.S. military to devastate the Syrian military and thus help Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front to win the war.

President Barack Obama meets in the Situation Room with his national security advisors to discuss strategy in Syria, Aug. 31, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

You might have thought that these experiences with staged chemical attacks would have given U.N. investigators more pause when another unlikely incident occurred last April 4 in the town of Khan Sheikhoun, which was under Al Qaeda’s control.

The Trump administration had just announced a U.S. policy reversal, saying that the U.S. goal was no longer “regime change” in Syria but rather to defeat terrorist groups. At the time, Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front, the Islamic State and other jihadist forces were in retreat across much of Syria.

In other words, the Syrian government had little or no reason to provoke U.S. and international outrage by launching a sarin gas attack on a remote town with only marginal strategic significance.

Chemical attacks, especially the alleged use of chlorine but sarin gas as well, also offer minimal military effectiveness if dropped on a town. Chlorine gas in this form rarely kills anyone, and the international outrage over sarin far exceeds any military value.

But the jihadists did have a powerful motive to continue staging chemical attacks as their best argument for derailing international efforts to bring the war to an end, which would have meant defeat for the jihadists and their international allies.

And, we know from the Al-Tamanah case that the jihadists are not above feeding fabricated evidence to U.N. investigators who themselves have strong career motives to point the finger at the Assad regime and thus please the Western powers.

In the Khan Sheikhoun case, a well-placed source told me shortly after the incident that at least some U.S. intelligence analysts concluded that it was a hastily staged event in reaction to the Trump administration’s renunciation of Syrian “regime change.”

The source said some evidence indicated that a drone from a Saudi-Israeli special-operations base inside Jordan delivered the sarin and that the staging of the attack was completed on the ground by jihadist forces. Initial reports of the attack appeared on social media shortly after dawn on April 4.

The Time Element

Syrian and Russian officials seemed to have been caught off-guard by the events, offering up a possible explanation that the Syrian government’s airstrike aimed at a senior jihadist meeting in Khan Sheikhoun at around noon might have accidentally touched off a chemical chain reaction producing sarin-like gas.

A photo of the crater containing the alleged canister that supposedly disbursed sarin in Khan Sheikdoun, Syria, on April 4, 2017.

But U.S. mainstream media accounts and the new U.N. report cited the time discrepancy – between the dawn attack and the noontime raid – as proof of Russian and Syrian deception. Yet, it made no sense for the Russians and Syrians to lie about the time element since they were admitting to an airstrike and, indeed, matching up the timing would have added to the credibility of their hypothesis.

In other words, if the airstrike had occurred at dawn, there was no motive for the Russians and Syrians not to say so. Instead, the Russian and Syrian response seems to suggest genuine confusion, not a cover-up.

For the U.N. commission to join in this attack line on the timeline further suggests a lack of objectivity, an impression that is bolstered by the rejection of OPCW’s finding that no take-off alert was issued early on the morning of April 4.

Instead, the U.N. commission relied heavily on “eyewitnesses” from the Al Qaeda-controlled town with unnamed individuals even providing the supposed identity of the aircraft, a Syrian government Su-22, and describing the dropping of three conventional bombs and the chemical-weapons device on Khan Sheikhoun around 6:45 a.m.

But there were other holes in the narrative. For instance, in a little-noticed May 29, 2017 report, Theodore Postol, professor of science, technology and national security policy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, challenged the Syria-government-did-it conclusions of The New York Times, Human Rights Watch and the Establishment’s favorite Internet site, Bellingcat. .

Postol’s analysis focused on a New York Times video report, entitled “How Syria And Russia Spun A Chemical Strike,” which followed Bellingcat research that was derived from social media. Postol concluded that “NONE of the forensic evidence in the New York Times video and a follow-on Times news article supports the conclusions reported by the New York Times.” [Emphasis in original.]

The basic weakness of the NYT/Bellingcat analysis was a reliance on social media from the Al Qaeda-controlled Khan Sheikhoun and thus a dependence on “evidence” from the jihadists and their “civil defense” collaborators, known as the White Helmets.

Sophisticated Propaganda

The jihadists and their media teams have become very sophisticated in the production of propaganda videos that are distributed through social media and credulously picked up by major Western news outlets. (A Netflix infomercial for the White Helmets even won an Academy Award earlier this year.)

Panoramic image of the three bomb plumes that an anti-Syrian government photographer claimed to take on April 4, 2017, in Khan Sheikhoun, Syria. MIT analyst Theodore Postol notes that the plumes appear to be blowing to the east, in contradiction of the day’s weather reports.

Postol zeroed in on the Times report’s use of a video taken by anti-government photographer Mohamad Salom Alabd, purporting to show three conventional bombs striking Khan Sheikhoun early in the morning of April 4.

The Times report extrapolated from that video where the bombs would have struck and then accepted that a fourth bomb – not seen in the video – delivered a sarin canister that struck a road and released sarin gas that blew westward into a heavily populated area supposedly killing dozens.

But the Times video analysis – uploaded on April 26 – contained serious forensic problems, Postol said, including showing the wind carrying the smoke from the three bombs in an easterly direction whereas the weather reports from that day – and the presumed direction of the sarin gas – had the wind going to the west.

Indeed, if the wind were blowing toward the east – and if the alleged location of the sarin release was correct – the wind would have carried the sarin away from the nearby populated area and likely would have caused few if any casualties, Postol wrote.

Postol also pointed out that the Times’ location of the three bombing strikes didn’t match up with the supposed damage that the Times claimed to have detected from satellite photos of where the bombs purportedly struck. Rather than buildings being leveled by powerful bombs, the photos showed little or no apparent damage.

The Times also relied on before-and-after satellite photos that had a gap of 44 days, from Feb. 21, 2017, to April 6, 2017, so whatever damage might have occurred couldn’t be tied to whatever might have happened on April 4.

Nor could the hole in the road where the crushed “sarin” canister was found be attributed to an April 4 bombing raid. Al Qaeda jihadists could have excavated the hole the night before as part of a staged provocation. Other images of activists climbing into the supposedly sarin-saturated hole with minimal protective gear should have raised other doubts, Postol noted in earlier reports.

Critics of the White Helmets have identified the photographer of the airstrike, Mohamad Salom Alabd, as a jihadist who appears to have claimed responsibility for killing a Syrian military officer. But the Times described him in a companion article to the video report only as “a journalist or activist who lived in the town.”

Another Debunking

In 2013, the work of Postol and his late partner, Richard M. Lloyd, an analyst at the military contractor Tesla Laboratories, debunked claims from the same trio — Bellingcat, the Times and Human Rights Watch — blaming the Syrian government for the sarin-gas attack outside Damascus on Aug. 21, 2013.

Photograph of men in Khan Sheikdoun in Syria, allegedly inside a crater where a sarin-gas bomb landed.

Postol and Lloyd showed that the rocket carrying the sarin had only a fraction of the range that the trio had assumed in tracing its path back to a government base.

Since the much shorter range placed the likely launch point inside rebel-controlled territory, the incident appeared to have been another false-flag provocation, one that almost led President Obama to launch a major retaliatory strike against the Syrian military.

Although the Times grudgingly acknowledged the scientific problems with its analysis, it continued to blame the 2013 incident on the Syrian government. Similarly, Official Washington’s “groupthink” still holds that the Syrian government launched that sarin attack and that Obama chickened out on enforcing his “red line” against chemical weapons use.

Obama’s announcement of that “red line,” in effect, created a powerful incentive for Al Qaeda and other jihadists to stage chemical attacks assuming that the atrocities would be blamed on the government and thus draw in the U.S. military on the jihadist side.

Yet, the 2013 “groupthink” of Syrian government guilt survives. After the April 4, 2017 incident, President Trump took some pleasure in mocking Obama’s weakness in contrast to his supposed toughness in quickly launching a “retaliatory” strike on April 6 (Washington time, although April 7 in Syria).

A Dubious Report

Trump’s attack came even before the White House released a supportive – though unconvincing – intelligence report on April 11. Regarding that report, Postol wrote, “The White House produced a false intelligence report on April 11, 2017 in order to justify an attack on the Syrian airbase at Sheyrat, Syria on April 7, 2017. That attack risked an unintended collision with Russia and a possible breakdown in cooperation between Russia and United States in the war to defeat the Islamic State. The collision also had some potential to escalate into a military conflict with Russia of greater extent and consequence.

President Trump delivers his brief speech to the nation explaining his decision to launch a missile strike against Syria on April 6, 2017. (Screen shot from Whitehouse.gov)

“The New York Times and other mainstream media immediately and without proper review of the evidence adopted the false narrative produced by the White House even though that narrative was totally unjustified based on the forensic evidence. The New York Times used an organization, Bellingcat, for its source of analysis even though Bellingcat has a long history of making false claims based on distorted assertions about forensic evidence that either does not exist, or is absolutely without any evidence of valid sources.”

Postol continued, “This history of New York Times publishing of inaccurate information and then sticking by it when solid science-based forensic evidence disproves the original narrative cannot be explained in terms of simple error. The facts overwhelmingly point to a New York Times management that is unconcerned about the accuracy of its reporting.

“The problems exposed in this particular review of a New York Times analysis of critically important events related to the US national security is not unique to this particular story. This author could easily point to other serious errors in New York Times reporting on important technical issues associated with our national security.

“In these cases, like in this case, the New York Times management has not only allowed the reporting of false information without reviewing the facts for accuracy, but it has repeatedly continued to report the same wrong information in follow-on articles. It may be inappropriate to call this ‘fake news,’ but this loaded term comes perilously close to actually describing what is happening.”

Referring to some of the photographed scenes in Khan Sheikhoun, including a dead goat that appeared to have been dragged into location near the “sarin crater,” Postol called the operation “a rather amateurish attempt to create a false narrative.”

Now, another U.N. agency has joined that narrative, despite a key contradiction from fellow U.N. investigators.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com).

 

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107 comments for “A New Hole in Syria-Sarin Certainty

  1. mike k
    September 7, 2017 at 6:03 pm

    But the US public will never know of this debunking of phony government reports by the propaganda pandering MSM. We are living in a world of blatant and constant lies by those who pretend to inform us. The MSM are war criminals one and all. Their attractive women and well dressed men are paid liars for the big shots that employ them. All of these folks should be tried for crimes against humanity.

    • CitizenOne
      September 7, 2017 at 9:58 pm

      I completely agree with you mike k. The media is the enemy. It is the great deceiver Like the SpongeBob SquarePants Movie where Sheldon Plankton. places Chum Buckets with robotic control power over the undersea community’s citizens heads as they march in rows shouting, “All Hail Plankton. All Hail Plankton”. Similarly we have all had the wool pulled over our eyes.

      It may not be the commercial enterprises of the media or the reporters but there is a group think indeed which is pervasive. It is totalitarian and it is SpongeBob crazy as we see the MSM put on their Chum Bucket helmets and proceed to march in lock step and always under the control of some nefarious character(s).

      The lightening speed at which the MSM condensed around a plot by Assad to drop sarin gas while putting up grotesque images of lifeless babies front and center in front of the camera smells like the event was not only staged by some terrorists but also staged by our media.

      There was no way that “reports” that a plane launched from a Syrian airbase could have legitimately reached such wide circulation around the World so quickly unless the path forward with the story was greased in advance. Who greased the story? I can tell you it wasn’t the terrorists.

      • Hank
        September 8, 2017 at 10:12 am

        They expect us to believe that after four long years of fighting Western-backed terrorist mercenaries and finally gaining an upper hand with Russia’s help Assad would gas his own people right in front of UN Weapons inspectors, giving the USA an excuse to attack Syria! Even if Syria DID attack civilians with a chemical weapon(which it didn’t), how can the USA act like a moral policeman when it constantly ignores international laws and provides nations all over the globe with weapons of mass destruction? It’s like a drug pusher criticizing drug use! The USA commits mass murder everyday like that is its birthright and then turns around and demonizes another nation for ALLEGEDLY using chemical weapons. What about all those Palestinian children slaughtered by Israel in its attack on the Gaza Strip? American “leaders” actually applauded this butchery! What gross hypocrisy!

    • September 8, 2017 at 5:35 am

      The U.S. public may never know, but the U.K. and European public seem to be getting to know, despite their mainstream media pushing the same old government narrative as the U.S. mainstream media.

      I link you to an article on the U.N.’s latest report on Syria sarin attack in today’s Independent, not because of the article itself, but because of the comments, the majority of which show an incredible lack of belief in the U.N. report, and sharply criticize The Independent’s unquestioning publishing of it.

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/syria-sarin-gas-chemical-attack-april-2017-government-behind-un-a7931896.html

      In the Independent’s defence, today’s issue also included a brilliant article on the Syrian war by Robert Fisk, one of the only true war correspondents left in the U.K. corporate media.

      http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/syrian-war-ending-bashar-al-assad-won-robert-fisk-syria-middle-east-israel-british-troops-a7933966.html

    • Michael Morrissey
      September 8, 2017 at 8:39 am

      Nor will the German public be any wiser. The German MSM just passes on what the US MSM says, e.g. here:
      http://www.tagesschau.de/ausland/syrien-chan-scheichun-101.html

    • YoungAmerican
      September 8, 2017 at 4:54 pm

      Certainly true Mike but I think the MSM is being digested by the older generation more so while the younger generations are more savvy and not watching, seeing or digesting the MSM BS; with this being said, as goes the older generation so goes the MSM…into the past. I just hope they all go before it’s too late. We all need to spread the word to boycott, divest and sanction the MSM (and the israeli terrorist regime illegally occupying Palestine) every dai in every way. I, for one, am going to start distributing, nation-wide, bumper stickers that say BOYCOTT CORPORATE MEDIA TODAY…IT WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE TOMORROW!

  2. September 7, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    Hopefully this war is over: See Link Below.
    —————————————————————————————————–
    The West might hardly believe it, but it now seems the Syrian war is ending – and Assad is the victor…
    Robert Fisk
    @indyvoices
    4 hours ago
    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/syrian-war-ending-bashar-al-assad-won-robert-fisk-syria-middle-east-israel-british-troops-a7933966.html

    • Robert Golden
      September 7, 2017 at 6:32 pm

      No one “won” the Syrian War, and it’s a humanitarian and governmental disaster.

      • Jake G
        September 8, 2017 at 5:03 am

        Well, I do know who lost it, and who supported the losing sides.
        Europe and the USA.
        We really lost it. Just look at our countries now. Massively increased criminality, countries which never had a Muslim terror attack are drowning in them and societies are divided over these issues, which will end in a disaster sooner or latter as well, not to mention destroyed credibility of our media and politicians who claim they are the good guys, while supporting terrorists.

        • September 8, 2017 at 10:56 am

          The loss is much greater for the formerly well-functioning Middle Eastern countries of Iraq, Libya, and Syria. The Zionist project of Clean Break (Oded Yinon plan for Eretz Israel) has generated, up to date, some 4.000.000 deaths (including thousands of hundreds of children), the demolished infrastructure across the Middle East, and the poisoned areas like Fallujah, where women give birth to horrifically deformed babies. Israel has been supporting radical jihadis to see Syria broken. Even now Israel continues bombing Syrian territories.
          The tribal hatred towards Iran could well bring western civilization to a brink of extinction. Israel has developed into a new model of Nazi state (where Judaism replaced Christianity). A backlash against Zionism, from the decent people and victims, is inevitable.

    • robjira
      September 7, 2017 at 9:25 pm

      I saw that too. It makes one wonder about the timing of the latest UN finding.

  3. Robert Golden
    September 7, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    What also should be investigated is Trump’s use of our military, to accomplish nothing more than a distraction, from the investigation of his multiple crimes. This was followed by a staged affront, by Russian leaders, as if the Trump-Russian dynamic had been transformed, from friends to enemies. The firing of 59 missiles had no coherent strategic purpose, and resulted in no apparent disabling of the Syrian/Russian air forces. In fact, both were warned of the strikes beforehand.

    Nothing more than an very expensive and impressive fireworks show, which allowed the MSM to connote Trump as “Presidential”. No follow-up of any kind, and in fact Trump turned a blank eye to the Russian-Syrian barrel and elephant bombing of civilians. Mueller should consider Trump’s decision as more evidence of obstruction of justice.

    • mark
      September 7, 2017 at 7:01 pm

      Q. which country first used “barrel bombs” ?
      A. Israel.

    • Annie
      September 7, 2017 at 7:04 pm

      Oh, give it up Robert! Using these articles to promote your anti-Trump agenda won’t work here. Remember Hillary in the background saying what she would do in this situation, if she were president? Bomb Syria, is what she said. No proof, just an American knee jerk reaction since the US has wanted to take down Assad before 9/11. Oh, when Trump bombed the air force base, she applauded.

      • michael lacey
        September 7, 2017 at 7:22 pm
        • Annie
          September 8, 2017 at 5:19 pm

          Did you mean this in reference to Mr. Parry’s article?
          While containing some truths and some sketchy opinions, the logic of the article’s argument: certain events have caused another event that was ongoing before the invasions is frayed.

      • Robert Golden
        September 7, 2017 at 9:43 pm

        It’s difficult to make sense of your convoluted and irrelevant reply. My point is that Trump’s action can only be understood as another obstruction of justice, which he has already established a sufficient pattern to impeach. I don’t understand why you changed the subject to Hillary? Your supposition if she were POTUS, she would waste 150 million, on a fireworks show, to distract attention of her Russian collusion in our election is absurd.

        “She wanted to take down Assad before 9/11”. I guess I should remind you before 9/11 Hillary was a Senator from New York, and George W. Bush was POTUS. Your reply sounds like you don’t like Hillary, and don’t understand my point.

        • Chris Kinder
          September 8, 2017 at 12:18 am

          You are both wrong. It’s not Trump vs Hillary, it’s us vs the the two party system, and us vs US imperialism, and against the capitalist system which underlies everything. Overthrowing the whole system is the only hope for the masses of working people worldwide. Understanding this is key.
          Consortium does a good job exposing the lies of US imperialism. But think, what underlies all of this, if not a system based on the exploitation of nations, and of the masses generally, for profit? Surely the people in power are not just doing this for fun, or for their own personal aggrandizement — while the latter point suffices to explain many individuals, it does not explain the whole system.

          • Brad Owen
            September 8, 2017 at 8:59 am

            Correct, and while outsider Trump is being manipulated by The (wicked) Establishment, and Hillary is part & parcel of The(wicked)Establishment, the point is that The(wicked) Establishment is against the people, the 99ers, and for the Global Oligarchy.

          • Thomas Phillips
            September 8, 2017 at 9:01 am

            You are so right. The destruction of both major parties would be one of the best things to happen in this country. I have not voted for a candidate of either party for years. I vote for a third party candidate or I write in the name of someone I respect and trust – and – I am not wasting my vote. You waste your vote if you support one of the major parties.

        • Annie
          September 8, 2017 at 2:29 am

          No Robert, that is not what I said about Ms. Clinton. I said there was a neocon agenda, which is presented in the Project for a New American Century which listed a number of middle eastern countries they wanted to take out, and Syria was only one of them. Libya and Iraq was also on their hit list. And you’re right I don’t like Hillary, a woman who was primarily responsible for taking out Gaddafi on trumped up charges and helped bring down the wealthiest country in North Africa, causing an immigration crisis. Obama listened, but admitted it was his greatest failure. As secretary of state she supported the elites in the Honduran coup. Read about that Robert. I don’t like a woman, or a man who laughs when told of Gaddafi’s death. The man was sodomized and murdered by a bunch of thugs. What exactly are the attributes of this militaristic woman? My comment is not relevant? You may think so because you just don’t have enough background to understand my point. That you have made fairly obvious. What is obvious about you Robert is you want Trump impeached, probably did from the beginning, just going along with the crowd of so called progressives, who in my book aren’t progressive at all. I suspect you are all so one of those who think the Russians hacked into the DNC and helped Trump win the election. Am I right?

          • September 8, 2017 at 7:24 am

            “CURIOUSER AND CURIOUSER….” (Lewis Carroll)

            Many thanks to Robert Parry for his continuing contributions.
            (For another corroboration see Seymour Hersh’s analysis
            of this alleged attack..)

            I do not note in Parry’s article above (or in Seymour Hersh’s
            analysis) any reference to “impeachment”. I do see additional
            critiques of UN positions. I also note a clear unmaking of
            Niki Haley as U Ambassador to the UN and those who choose
            to follow her. Ms. Haley represents this administration..

            To maintain that nothing can change unless EVERYTHING
            changes has merit in principle but avoids realities in fact.
            (Everything is not going to change etc.).

            Instead Robert Parry and other investigative reporters seek
            to inform.

            (PS Hopefully I can get the precise title of Seymour Hersh’s
            analysis and possibly even the link. It is worth your time.
            It was published in Berlin evidently finding nowhere else
            to publish. What is available is a translation which should be
            shared with all interested..DS

            —-Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

          • Jessejean
            September 8, 2017 at 5:05 pm

            Annie, you are so totally right on about Shillary, the Bitter -itch now pushing a bitter book trying to relitigate her stunning failure and blame someone new for it. I’m a feminist. And a progressive. And the fact that she claims to be both as convenience dictates makes me want to slap her tits up her ass. (Got that from a drag queen.) I watched Bernie on that smug Chris Hayes show and Hayes tried as he always does to trap Bernie in some clinton-crap discussion. Bernie put him in his place like a firm father then went on to discuss his bill for Medicare for all. Bernie’s DOING something. Killary is just sneering, snotting and whining, as always. Piss on her teeth.

        • Skip Scott
          September 8, 2017 at 9:24 am

          Robert-

          If you want an education on the situation in Syria instead of just mouthing MSM propaganda, I suggest you look into Eva Bartlett. She is one of a very few honest journalists; she speaks the language, and has been to Syria (including Aleppo) multiple times. We can all get your viewpoint watching Rachel Maddow on TV. I don’t know what you’re doing commenting on this site unless you are a paid troll.

    • September 7, 2017 at 7:06 pm

      The US intervention and support for “moderate” jihadis in Syria have begun under Obama. The intervention has been the direct implementation of the Clean Break project
      “In 1996, Perle and others influenced by Lewis will write a paper for right wing Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu entitled “A Clean Break” that advocates the “Lebanonization” of countries like Iraq and Syria.” http://www.historycommons.org/searchResults.jsp?searchtext=clean+break&events=on&entities=on&articles=on&topics=on&timelines=on&projects=on&titles=on&descriptions=on&dosearch=on&search=Go
      The 4.000.000 slaughtered civilians, including hundreds of thousands of children, in the Middle East, are a trophy for Israel-firsters. The destruction of Libya, Iraq, and Syria by American hands and on American dime has been at the core of Clean Break project.
      American ziocons are bloody supremacists that have been promoting the mass slaughter of civilians in the name of Eretz Israel.

      • mark
        September 7, 2017 at 7:30 pm

        This is entirely in character for such a rogue state, a genocidal terrorist regime. Israel is a threat to all humanity. So long as it exists, there will never be peace in the world.

      • Annie
        September 7, 2017 at 7:42 pm

        I’m familiar with a Clean Break, and the Neocon Project for a New American Century which was based on that. I despise their agenda, and the destruction it has brought. I once attended a lecture and a well known, and so called liberal, told the students and the adult audience that if they tried to google neocons they wouldn’t find a link. Her lie was in response to something I asked her. These days you can’t even trust people who define themselves as liberal, or progressive. Another group, of well educated people who would also define themselves that way, all agreed that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction, they just got away. God help us!

      • Robert Golden
        September 7, 2017 at 9:53 pm

        Talk about lumping and not understanding history, your diatribe is woefully inaccurate. I suggest you do more study of the Syrian and Iraq Wars. They are related in many ways, but not in the ways your broad conspiracy theory suggests. They also have different histories, factors, and motivations.

        • Joe Tedesky
          September 7, 2017 at 10:45 pm

          Robert, I found this article I’m leaving a link too, to be very interesting. It’s author Steven Sahiounie, writes about ‘The day before Deraa: How the war broke out in Syria’, and that happens to be the title of his easy also.

          https://ahtribune.com/world/north-africa-south-west-asia/syria-crisis/1135-day-before-deraa.html

        • RamboDave
          September 8, 2017 at 12:24 am

          “Diatribe” from Anna?

          Robert …..take a look at this very short video of General Wesley Clark talking about the plan, written down in actual hard copy (not just some “broad conspiracy theory” as you argue).

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXS3vW47mOE

          These Zionists-necons that authored or signed these documents, Clean Break and the Project for a New American Century, in the mid 1990’s all later got jobs in the Bush Administration. That is why we got regime change wars in Iraq and Syria.

          Seymour Hersh ties it all together in his 2007 New Yorker article.

          https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2007/03/05/the-redirection

          Hersh claims the war on Syria was put in motion by Dick Cheney and Elliot Abrams in 2007, following the script laid out in those early documents from the mid 1990’s, and also the list of regime change countries witnessed by General Clark. Hersh argues that Cheney and Abrams were trying to double down on their failed earlier plan to create a friendly Shia state in Iraq, which the neocons had hoped for, but which had become a hostile mess by 2007.

          So Anna is right. It is all tied together by the Zionists-neocons very own documents. It is not a “broad conspiracy theory. It is an actual plan, written down and then later carried out by the Bush Administration.

        • John the Ba'thist
          September 8, 2017 at 12:07 pm

          Fine, let’s list some of the similarities: Syria and Iraq are direct neighbors, separated by a long, artificial imperial border created by the Franco-British Sykes-Picot agreement. They are both predominantly Arabic countries (90% & 80%). They were both dominated and exploited by the Ottoman Empire for 500 years, They were both essential parts of the single Arab state envisioned by the Damascus Protocol, fought for by the Great Arab Revolt, and betrayed and partitioned by their erstwhile allies. Upon achieving their nominal independence, they both clung to their progressive Arab political identity. They both have many religious minorities within their Arabic populations, as well as ethnolinguistic minorities which have been exploited by enemies near and far.They each received large numbers of Armenian and Assyrian refugees fleeing Turco-Kurdish genocide in Anatolia and they later hosted numerous Kurds fleeing Turkish aggression. They both came under the leadership of the Arab Renaissance (Ba’th) Party in the 1960s.They were on the verge of unification in 1979, when Saddam seized power in Iraq, executed the pro- Syrian members of the Iraqi Ba’th, and started a foolish war with Iran.Despite their differences, they each continued diplomatic, physical, financial and military support for the Palestinian resistance.

          This list could continue.

          • Skip Scott
            September 8, 2017 at 1:34 pm

            Thank you John for showing Robert is full of himself, and full of poo.

      • September 8, 2017 at 7:37 am

        RE: ANALYSIS BY SEYMOUR HERSH

        ——————-

        POLITIK

        DEUTSCHLAND AUSLAND BUNDESTAGSWAHL 2017
        AUSLAND SYRIA

        (Translation: TRUMP’S RED LINE)

        Von Seymour M. Hersh | Veröffentlicht am 25.06.2017 | Lesedauer: 24 Minuten
        ——————————————–
        https://www.welt.de/politik/
        —————————
        Add to reply by Peter Loeb “Curiouser and Curiouser”
        as printed above. —Peter

        —–Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

      • John the Ba'thist
        September 8, 2017 at 11:36 am

        Wurmser’s follow-up essay to the “Clean Break”, the deceptively titled “Coping with Crumbling States” (How to Make States Around Israel Crumble would have been accurate) is very explicit, and anyone who read it with any sympathy for the targeted states would have been able to predict the strange turns that the War on Terror [sic] has taken since 2001.

  4. September 7, 2017 at 6:43 pm

    Syria’s victory at Deir ez-Zor turns the tide on US regime-change plans
    Finian Cunningham …

    Published time: 7 Sep, 2017 15:45

    For more than six years since conflict broke out in March 2011, Syria has been the victim of an international criminal conspiracy led by the United States to topple President Assad and the Syrian state. The regime-change operation has been instrumented by the US and its allies sponsoring terrorist mercenary armies, while the Western mainstream news media served to distort the criminal enterprise by depicting it as a civil war…. (emphasis added)
    [read more at link below]

    https://www.rt.com/op-edge/402354-syrias-victory-deir-ez-zor/

    • Robert Golden
      September 7, 2017 at 10:09 pm

      You might want to understand firstly how the Assads ruled, and secondly why the majority Sunni population revolted. Further, you should understand the main financial support for the Sunni’s came from SA and the Gulf states. The US actually played a very limited role in Syria, understanding that Syria was an existential, client-state of Russia. This is not say the Sunni emigration into Syria, as a result of the Iraq War, wasn’t a contributory factor, along with the drought. President Obama deserves more credit than given. By drawing the red line he induced Russia to agree to resolve Syria’s WMD’s, without firing a shot. Imagine how many more would have died had Assad’s stockpile been employed, on a larger scale!

      • Skip Scott
        September 8, 2017 at 9:53 am

        Perhaps you can explain why the majority of Assad’s army are Sunnis. Could it be that they like Assad’s secular government? Could it be that they don’t want to have their country wind up like Iraq or Libya? The Syrian Sunni population did not revolt, they prefer Assad by over 70 percent based on the last election, which included voting by Syrians abroad. The Sunnis fighting against Assad are paid Wahhabi mercenaries. They are foreigners. Check this out for some facts.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YANWFzMG9sU

    • Abe
      September 8, 2017 at 12:26 am

      The posts of “Robert Gordon” are laced with “regime change” propaganda canards.

      The premise that “the majority Sunni population revolted” is false precisely because most of the Syrian people aligned with the government in opposition to the terrorist mercenary forces that have sought to occupy Syrian territory.

      The premise concerning “main financial support for the Sunni’s” is false precisely because the war is not a “civil war”.

      The premise that Syrian chemical weapons “had […] been employed” is false precisely because there is no conclusive evidence of any WMD use by the Syrian government during the conflict.

      In reality, major US regional allies played a direct role in financing and arming the mercenary terrorist forces that have attacked Syria.

      In addition to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates, major support for terrorist mercenaries was provided via NATO-member state Turkey as well as key US allies Israel and Jordan.

      “Robert Gordon” did manage to make at least one factually accurate statement:

      “President Obama deserves more credit than given.”

      Indeed, the war in Syria was one of multiple horrific “regime change” wars launched by the Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

      Trump immediately got busy moving the bloody mess along and Israel is salivating for lots more expensive fireworks displays.

      Yes, I understand your points very well, “Robert Gordon”.

      • Annie
        September 8, 2017 at 3:23 am

        Good for you, in seeing through Mr. Golden’s agenda!

      • Skip Scott
        September 8, 2017 at 9:26 am

        Thank you Abe! You are one of our best weapons against the trolls.

  5. September 7, 2017 at 6:48 pm

    October 2, 2016
    “The Evidence of the Planning of Wars against Countries by Powerful War Criminals…”
    [more info at link below]
    http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2016/10/the-evidence-of-planning-of-wars.html

  6. Stephen
    September 7, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    Here’s a good conversation on media by Don Debar and Peter Lavelle. Listen to Sept. 7th.

    http://cprnews.podbean.com/

  7. mike k
    September 7, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    “A Pyrrhic victory is a victory that inflicts such a devastating toll on the victor that it is tantamount to defeat. Someone who wins a Pyrrhic victory has been victorious in some way. However, the heavy toll negates any sense of achievement or profit. Another term for this would be “hollow victory”. (Google)

    • mike k
      September 7, 2017 at 7:06 pm

      And yet, the real victory may be for the world, since a victory by the US and it’s terrorist allies would have paved the way for the Israeli dream of destroying Iran. Any defeat for the would be hegemon USA is a victory for the world.

  8. mark
    September 7, 2017 at 7:23 pm

    These smears and false flags will unravel completely one day soon and there will be a price to pay (both by politicians and their accomplices and enablers in the MSM), shredding what little remains of their credibility. An awful lot of people are going to be left with an awful lot of egg all over their faces.

    Nobody believes a word they say any more. Anyone who wants news and genuine information looks for it outside the fake news media (hence the desperate attempts to censor and control alternative media.) I think even in America only about 10% of people still give any credence to the content of the MSM.

    All this will follow the same trajectory as Saddam Hussein’s WMD and Kuwait incubator babies. People know they have been lied to again and again and again, and that they are still being lied to. The Pentagon paid $540 million to a UK company in one contract alone to manufacture fake propaganda footage and put it on the internet.

    During WW2, nobody believed reports of atrocities. People had been lied to so many times during WW1 that nobody believed these accounts any more. They had experienced the “bayonetted Belgian babies” and “raped nuns” and “crucified Allied POWs” which were later admitted to be lies, just like we had the Kuwait incubator babies and Iraqi WMD. When accounts of atrocities surfaced in WW2, people naturally assumed they were just being lied to all over again.

  9. SteveK9
    September 7, 2017 at 7:26 pm

    It’s good to keep bringing out facts, but this ‘attack’ never made any sense whatsoever. Assad is winning the war, the US practically announces as much, so he immediately launches a chemical attack, which has no military value whatever, but is the one thing sure to put the Americans back on the ‘Assad must go’ train. So, it makes no sense and afterward it was clear there is no evidence. No sense, and no evidence is one way I decide something is not true.

    • September 7, 2017 at 10:31 pm

      Somehow I believe the alleged “sarin attack” incidents could most readily be challenged by asking who benefits most i.e.cui bono? So, as you say SteveK9, it makes no sense for Assad to have used these weapons and it was very clear that al Nusra and the so-called “moderates” had everything to gain.

    • CitizenOne
      September 7, 2017 at 11:01 pm

      I agree. When you look at motive and opportunity you have to balance the motivations and abilities of both sides to conduct the attack. On the one side of the balance the anti Assad ground forces and the US had every motive to turn Trump around from walking away from Syria and letting Russia handle the war. Trump said he was done with US involvement in Syria. He said it in his campaign speeches and we have no evidence Trump was a supporter of the US involvement in the Syrian conflict. That all changed with the sarin gas attack at least reflexively as Trump was convinced that Assad was responsible for the attack by US intelligence. On the other side of the balance Assad had absolutely nothing to gain by conducting the attack knowing it might alter the intentions of Trump to walk away from the fight and turn loose the Russians who supported the Assad regime and wanted to pummel the anti Assad forces into defeat. There is plenty of evidence for the pro Assad Russian involvement which Assad viewed as his cavalry charge which would save his regime.

      Indeed it makes no sense and in the light of the UN investigations there is now no evidence that Assad conducted the attack.

      What is clear is that the US (minus Trump) and the anti Assad forces (minus Russia) had everything to gain. The probability that our intelligence fixed the facts around blame of Assad for the attack and the media complicity in promoting the “Assad did it” narrative is evident in the quick universal condemnation of Assad and assigning instantaneous blame on Assad without also examining other suspects who had everything to gain in an attempt to turn US policy away from allowing Trump and Russia and Assad to go after the anti Assad insurgents.

      Such an analysis was of course impossible. Even the UN finds such an analysis to be off the table as they continue to try to fix their own facts around blaming Assad.

      Robert Parry is doing the heavy lifting by examining the evidence in these UN reports to uncover the inconsistencies in the narrative and exposing the flawed logic and the lack of evidence and the inconsistencies in the group think which despite all the inconsistencies and the holes in the logic and evidence continues to try to frame the sarin gas attack as the deed of the Assad regime.

      The timing of Trump’s statements he was walking away from the fight and the insta-blame on Assad after the attack by the group think for me is enough to want to look at the possibility this was a staged event. It obviously motivates Mr. Parry. It is suspicious. There is enough evidence that all the stories presented by the media and the people who feed news to the media were engaged in a rush to judgement against Assad and failed to do basic investigative journalism while covering the story. Mr Parry has tirelessly exposed the inconsistencies and he makes a convincing case that, at least, there are a number of unanswered questions which remain unanswered because they have not been asked. Such is the problem with “group think” which might as well be called propaganda.

      Has it happened here before? Absolutely. Nothing new under the Sun which is all the more reason to suspect that a false flag and a staged event are behind the attack.

      • September 8, 2017 at 10:22 am

        TO CITIZENONE & OTHERS:

        For detail regarding President Trump’s decision as well as
        the facts, read Seymour Hersh’s article (in translation)
        in detail. Cited by me above with incorrect LINK but
        correct title etc.

        “Citizenone” is confirmed in by Hersh detail with additional
        description about the decision-making process.

        Appologies that I was unable to provide a direct LINK.
        If you are able to uncover it, your time will be more
        than well-spent. If so, please provide
        the correct LINK to the article in English for all of us
        with many thanks.

        —–Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

        • CitizenOne
          September 9, 2017 at 4:16 pm

          Here is the link to the article in Der Welt:

          https://www.welt.de/politik/ausland/article165905578/Trump-s-Red-Line.html

          It confirms that US government officials were advising Trump that the gas attack was not real and reinforces the reasons Assad would be harming himself more than helping himself by conducting the alleged attack. One dimension I failed to explore buy which Hersh points out is how such an attack would have also angered the Russians.

          From the article:

          “What doesn’t occur to most Americans” the adviser said, “is if there had been a Syrian nerve gas attack authorized by Bashar, the Russians would be 10 times as upset as anyone in the West. Russia’s strategy against ISIS, which involves getting American cooperation, would have been destroyed and Bashar would be responsible for pissing off Russia, with unknown consequences for him. Bashar would do that? When he’s on the verge of winning the war? Are you kidding me?”

          What the article makes clear is that Trump ignored advisors and experts from Washington and listened instead to the media which was hyping stories about Assad’s guilt. Trump got all his intel from the boob tube. Americans also gobbled down the stories in the news as well as other nations. In the end the experts were ignored.

          The implication is we have a president who is manipulable by the media and who goes against logical and reasoned advice advice preferring his own personal opinions over facts. Further it demonstrates he is also willing to use aggressive military action when those who surround him are urging otherwise.

          Perhaps he thinks he is on a reality TV show where his job is to get ratings and approval based on the audience. In that case he would clearly be doing his job by indulging America’s desire for revenge based on the saturation coverage and “Assad did it” conclusions the media was presenting. Apparently it worked. Trump’s approval rating went up. The description of the retaliatory strike as “beautiful” by the press revealed their own approval of the action.

          It reminds me of William Randolph Hearst’s yellow journalism leading up to the Spanish American War. Hearst was famously quoted as telling Frederic Remington, an artist hired by Hearst to provide illustrations to accompany a series of articles on the Cuban Revolution who soon became bored with seemingly peaceful Cuba and wired Hearst in January 1897:

          “Everything is quiet. There is no trouble. There will be no war. I wish to return.” To which Hearst’s alleged reply was: “Please remain. You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war.”

          More from Wiki:

          In the days following the sinking of the USS Maine, Hearst ran a story with the heading “The War Ship Maine was Split in Two by an Enemy’s Secret Infernal Machine”. The story told how the Spanish had planted a torpedo beneath the USS Maine and detonated it from shore. Hearst soon followed this article with one containing diagrams and blueprints of the secret torpedoes used by Spain. Captain Sigsbee of the USS Maine put in a telegram to the Secretary of the Navy that judgment and opinion should be suspended until further report. At the Court of Naval Inquiry, Sigsbee maintained a mine was responsible for sinking his ship. The Court found the same, but was unable to find evidence to attribute the sinking to “any person or persons.”

          Many stories like the one published by Hearst were printed across the country blaming the Spanish military for the destruction of the USS Maine. These stories struck a chord with the American people stirring public opinion up into a divided frenzy, with a large group of Americans wanting to attack and another wanting to wait for confirmation. The Americans that wanted to attack wanted to remove Spain from power in many of their colonies close to the U.S. Those easily persuaded by the Yellow Journalism eventually prevailed, and American troops were sent to Cuba.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propaganda_of_the_Spanish%E2%80%93American_War

          The media serve as the tool that the war mongers use to whip up public support for war and to twist arms in Washington. It was done then as it is done now. The pen is mightier than the sword because it is the master that controls it. Unfortunately there is nothing new under the Sun. The events leading up to the Cruise Missile attack were from the same old marching to war song.

          Even today, the history of the Spanish American war is muted so as to not convey too much blame on the USA which must always be seen as in the right. It is often stated that the motivations and decision for the war were “controversial”.

          I have no doubt that the NY Times and other media outlets will never alter or retract their rush to judgment that Assad was to blame for the gas attack.

      • Rob Roy
        September 8, 2017 at 9:48 pm

        I read Hersh’s article in English which came from the German paper Der Welt. Neither the UK nor the US papers would print it.

  10. September 7, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    Thank you for all your work. It’s unfortunate that bad actors such as NYT create such hideous messes and leave them for others to attend to.

    • September 7, 2017 at 8:50 pm

      “…bad actors such as NYT create such hideous messes…”
      The NYT simply follows the orders from the moneyed ziocons and, of course, the NYT’ editors follow the hearts of the NYT owners.
      The Ochs-Sulzberger family are a Jewish family known for its ownership of The New York Times https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ochs-Sulzberger_family

      • exiled off mainstreet
        September 7, 2017 at 8:55 pm

        The new dominant ownership by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim (I’m not sure whether the Ochs-Sulzberger crowd retain a significant interest) has redoubled the propaganda line described above. The Times has degenerated into a propaganda rag following a dangerous, degenerate nihilist ziocon war crimes policy.

  11. Enquiring Mind
    September 7, 2017 at 8:15 pm

    Netanyahu is getting increasingly nervous about the Syrian success and the inevitable encroachment of Iranians closer to Israel.

    Therefore, expect an international incident of the first order, anywhere necessary to draw attention and resources toward the clear and present danger he espouses. Be guided accordingly in your travel plans.

    • Curious
      September 8, 2017 at 2:47 am

      Please also note the firing of Israeli missiles today from Lebanon air space into Syria killing 2 Syrian officers as it has been reported. Your comment of Babi not sitting idle as Syria ends its war, indeed seems accurate and a huge mistake for Syrias future. Curses on the Israelis, and Bibi in particular.

  12. Pierre Anonymot
    September 7, 2017 at 8:21 pm

    It’s fake news, alright. The NYT seems to just rewrite CIA or State Dept. handouts and it’s been doing it consistently for quite a few years. In effect, the Times & Hillary were the print and the voice of those 2 government departments. What I would like to know is how did it happen, what leverage was used and what money were they paid in?

  13. exiled off mainstreet
    September 7, 2017 at 8:51 pm

    We are glad Mr. Parry has come up with this key discrepancy in the evidence which shows that the UN authorities were in the yankee bag on these issues. The continuing pattern of falsehood is deplorable. Also appreciated is the reason the Russians would be confused on the noontime bombing being the source of what likely in actuality was a false flag attack in an attempt to resurrect the failing terrorist effort to take over Syria. The fact that the deep state and vassals of the US support these terrorist elements is nothing short of criminal. Recent stories showing US direct support of el qaeda and even rumours that CIA operatives helped key ISIS figures escape, from Raqqa I believe, as reported on theduran and elsewhere reveal that the deep state continues its policy of abetting terrorism as a power tactic. Too bad the court in the Hague appears to be under the influence of the same element providing cover to the terrorists, since these actions should subject the perpetrators to war crimes prosecutions.

  14. Kevin Brooke Hudson
    September 7, 2017 at 9:06 pm

    Just a note to let you know this article was shared on FB. When I clicked on the link I was warned with a full page saying this site was unsafe and was indeed malicious because hackers could steal my personal info simply by viewing the site. It took several tries before I was able to reach the site. Are your articles being censored by FB?

    • Skip Scott
      September 9, 2017 at 9:19 am

      Big Brother is watching us. War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. See you at the re-education camp.

  15. HIDE BEHIND
    September 7, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    We hear talks of “False Flag Events”, most of which the intelligent independent thinkers, who may have some doubts toward a few events, know for damn sure our government has used them upon us many times.
    Lets talk about the real false flag, you know, the red, white and blue stars and stripes.
    Old glory has turned into old and gorey, and whst high ideals that flag once stood for, now represents some of worst butchers ever to form on earth
    It is not just the visible american political faces but the wealth and powerfull individual and financial interest of foregn powers as well.
    To the point that today we do not know or understand who or what ee pledge allegiance too.

    • Rob Roy
      September 8, 2017 at 10:04 pm

      It is encouraging that across the country many high school and college teams now go down on one knee when it’s time before the game to stand and cross one’s heart for the pledge of allegiance to the flag. These young people do this for various reasons, but it indicates that our young people might not be fooled forever.

  16. Charles Wood
    September 7, 2017 at 10:22 pm

    My conclusion reading all the reports, Postol included, is that no professional meteorologist has ever been consulted and people are basically making it up as they go along. It makes the rest of the reports equally dubious.

    Weather ‘reports’ and ‘forecasts’ for Khan Sheikhoun on the day are not in any way reliable. Under calm weather conditions and with an overnight inversion the wind direction can swing through 180 degrees in the space of a few km. Every party to the discussion to some extent has relied on published weather information that is certainly wrong. It is mostly generated by interpolation from Latakia airbase which is on the coast and had an overnight land-breeze unlike Khan Sheikhoun. Alternatively at least one vendor simply runs a global weather model with no actual ground based data.

    The indisputable facts of the weather are that there was an overall slow flow of air North to South over Syria caused by a slight increase in pressure over Cyprus. It was also cool and clear so an overnight inversion formed in most places. However the presence of the inversion and general slow wind speeds meant that wind meandered and swirled aimlessly over the area and could be 180 degrees reversed in direction over the distance of a few km.

    The air temperature at Khan Sheikhoun at 7am local time was 8C – cooler than Latakia and warmer than Damascus which is a bit higher in elevation. KS Humidity was 75%. These figures are quite reliable and unrelated to the wind direction uncertainty.

    FYI I spent a significant number of years in commercial microclimate research and my speciality was computer modelling toxic gas dispersion in low wind-speed conditions; using numbers of weather stations in the area of interest to monitor micro-scale wind field changes.

    • David Smith
      September 8, 2017 at 7:14 am

      C.W. it is The New York Times/Bellingcrap argumentation that relys on these unreliable weather reports, not Prof. Postol. The NYY/Bellingcrap narrative turns on weather reports claiming the wind was blowing to the west, driving the alleged satin gas from the alleged impact point to the alleged victims. Prof. Postol, by pointing out that the photo the NYT/Bellingcrap provide showing smoke blowing east, is in agreement with you that the weather report relied on by NYT/Bellingcrap is unreliable. Yet you specifically mention Prof. Postol, not the NYT/Bellingcrap.

      • Rob Roy
        September 8, 2017 at 9:58 pm

        I have come to trust Theodore Postol. Many times he has corrected the regurgitating lies coming from MSM.

  17. Joe Wallace
    September 7, 2017 at 10:23 pm

    Enquiring Mind:

    ” . . . expect an international incident of the first order . . . ” from Bibi Netanyahu, a posterior perforation of the first order. (Thanks to a NYT letter writer who realized the paper would not print a letter calling Trump an ***hole.)

  18. HIDE BEHIND
    September 7, 2017 at 10:29 pm

    I beg to differ with those who think that defeat of Al’Q and ISIL means war is over.
    Look at map and see who controls what parcel of lands within Syria, and remember the border states that fed clothed and armed those terrorist factions; Such bordrr states as Jordan, Turkey and Israel who blatantly let those terrorist cross their boders and bought their catured oil, and of course the US now with huge military base within Kurdis controlled Syria.
    There are two distinct groups, both want a Kurdistan nation out of old Iraq and Syria.
    The US heavily supplied the same Kurd faction as they did in Iraq.
    While they supplied both factions with arms and money the Y kurds today recieve nothing, and will have no say in Future.
    May just po them.
    Regime change nevrr died and what is left of Syria will be constantly harrassed by cross border raids and paid elements of Syria proper.
    Syria and its allies will be under constant attacks by Israel, with very likely attacks upon Hez in Lebanon.
    No way will shooting stop until Assad is dead and a brown noser to US replaces him.
    Some of the sic; SDF’s are already attacking Some Kurds and other loyal Syrian malitias.

  19. roza shanina
    September 7, 2017 at 10:57 pm

    Who is this Robert Golden person?
    I don’t comment much, but I always read the wisdom of those here. Now this dude shows up.
    I guess it just means that CN has reached a bit more eyeballs than deep state is cool with.
    I guess I should just ignore his bile and move on.
    God help us all.
    We’re done.
    Why bother.

    • mike k
      September 8, 2017 at 7:08 am

      IF WE’RE DONE, ALL HE MORE REASON TO BOTHER, AND DO OUR BEST.

  20. Abe
    September 7, 2017 at 10:58 pm

    The 4 April 2017 Khan Shaykhun incident in an Al Qaeda controlled area of Idlib was obviously perpetrated for maximum propaganda effect to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the Chemical Weapons Convention, that entered into force and becoming binding international law on 29 April 1997.

    Disinformation produced by fake “chemical weapons expert” Dan Kaszeta and fake “citizen investigative journalist” Eliot Higgins of the UK-based Bellingcat blog made its way into the 11 April 2017 Trump White House’s “assessment” of the Khan Shakhun incident.

    Kaszeta is now backing evidence free “Israeli intelligence” claims about Syria.

    A 19 April 2017 Israeli “assessment” presented by anonymous military officials included evidence free claims that Syrian military commanders has ordered the Khan Shaukun attack with President Assad’s knowledge and “estimates” that Syria still has “between one and three tons” of chemical weapons.

    The Associated Press report on the Israeli military briefing included an interview with Kaszeta, who said the Israeli estimate appeared to be “conservative”. Kaszeta claimed that “One ton of sarin could easily be used to perpetrate an attack on the scale of the 2013 attack. It could also be used for roughly 10 attacks of a similar size to the recent Khan Sheikhoun attack”.

    Back in 2013, Kaszeta backed similar evidence free claims by Israeli defense officials.

    The U.S. Intelligence Community is responsible for gathering and analyzing the intelligence necessary to conduct foreign relations and national security activities.

    The ability of the President and the Secretary of Defense to understand and respond to specific threats as quickly as possible is severely compromised by the production of “Government Assessment” documents based on inaccurate information.

    Of urgent concern is the body of information used to manufacture “Government Assessment” documents. The United States Government’s assessment of the Khan Shaykhun chemical incident relied heavily on “videos”, “social media reports” and “journalist accounts” from Bellingcat.

    Open-source intelligence (OSINT) is defined by both the U.S. Director of National Intelligence and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), as “produced from publicly available information that is collected, exploited, and disseminated in a timely manner to an appropriate audience for the purpose of addressing a specific intelligence requirement.”

    OSINT is intelligence collected from publicly available sources. In the Intelligence Community, the term “open” refers to overt, publicly available sources (as opposed to covert or clandestine sources).

    The US Intelligence Community’s open-source activities (known as the National Open Source Enterprise) are dictated by Intelligence Community Directive 301 promulgated by the Director of National Intelligence.

    The “Government Assessment” political documents employed by the White House in August 2013 and July 2014 appear to have relied on an extra-governmental species of “open source intelligence” largely supplied by bloggers based in the United Kingdom.

    Assessments of chemical use in Syria in 2013 (Brown Moses blog) and the downing of Flight MH17 and its aftermath in 2014 (Bellingcat blog) were supplied by UK citizen Higgins of Leicester.

    Higgins’ collaborator Kaszeta, a US-UK dual national based in London, provided additional claims of “chemical attacks” in Syria for both the Brown Moses and Bellingcat blogs.

    Since 2013, Kaszeta and Higgins have continued to make ever more dramatic claims about “chemical attacks” in Syria.

    Following the the 4 April 2017 chemical incident at Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib, Kaszeta was cited as a go-to “expert” by the BBC, UK Guardian, CNN, Time magazine, Washngton Post. NPR, Germany’s Die Welt and Deutsche Welle, Business Insider, Popular Science, Asia Times and the Associated Press.

    Not content with merely quoting Kaszeta, BBC News online went so far as to publish an essay authored by Kaszeta titled “Syria ‘chemical attack’: What can forensics tell us?” At the end of his BBC News essay, in a furtive effort to quickly “tie the whole narrative together”, Kaszata mentioned that “In 2013, the chemical hexamine, used as an additive, was a critical piece of information linking the Ghouta attack to the government of President Assad.” This intriguing tidbit linked to a December 2013 New York Times article quoting Kaszeta’s own claims about the “very damning evidence” of hexamine.

    However, Kaszeta’s claims about hexamine were already debunked in 2014. Kaszeta continues to claim that Hexamine was used in the 2013 Ghouta attack, despite evidence that Hexamine is not soluble in alcohols, making it ineffective for this purpose.

    Analysis of all primary and secondary evidence relating to the 21 August 2013 chemical incident at Ghouta indicates it was carried out by Al Qaeda terrorist forces (Al Nusra Front or Jabhat al Nusra, also known as the Jabhat Fateh al Sham).

    Analysis of evidence relating to the 4 April 2017 chemical incident at Khan Shaykhun indicates it was carried out by Al Qaeda terrorist forces (Hay’at Tahrir al Sham, the latest rebranding of Al Nusra).

    Higgins and Kaszeta have vigorously backed the narrative of an air-dropped chemical bomb in Idlib. However, none of Kaszeta’s articles on Bellingcat, nor any of the numerous citations of Kaszeta by mainstream media, address the complete absence of evidence of an aerial bomb.

    The alleged “Sarin bomb” hole in the road in Idlib has been photographed numerous times from multiple angles. The size, depth and shape of the hole are clear evidence that it was not produced by a falling object such as an air-dropped bomb.

    MIT physicist Theodore A. Postol reviewed the White House report on the alleged chemical weapons attack in Idlib, Syria. He noted that the only source the cited as evidence of Syrian government responsibility for the attack was the crater on a road in Khan Shaykhun.

    Postol concluded that the US government failed to provide evidence that it had any concrete knowledge that the Syrian government was the source of the chemical attack in Khan Shaykhun on April 4, 2017.

    Postol accurately identified the amateurish nature of the White House report:

    “No competent analyst would assume that the crater cited as the source of the sarin attack was unambiguously an indication that the munition came from an aircraft. No competent analyst would assume that the photograph of the carcass of the sarin canister was in fact a sarin canister. Any competent analyst would have had questions about whether the debris in the crater was staged or real. No competent analyst would miss the fact that the alleged sarin canister was forcefully crushed from above, rather than exploded by a munition within it. All of these highly amateurish mistakes indicate that this White House report… was not properly vetted by the intelligence community as claimed.’

    Postol concluded:

    “I have worked with the intelligence community in the past, and I have grave concerns about the politicization of intelligence that seems to be occurring with more frequency in recent times – but I know that the intelligence community has highly capable analysts in it. And if those analysts were properly consulted about the claims in the White House document they would have not approved the document going forward.

    “We again have a situation where the White House has issued an obviously false, misleading and amateurish intelligence report.”

    Postol recently told The Nation, “What I think is now crystal clear is that the White House report was fabricated and it certainly did not follow the procedures it claimed to employ.” He added, “My best guess at the moment is that this was an extremely clumsy and ill-conceived attempt to cover up the fact that Trump attacked Syria without any intelligence evidence that Syria was in fact the perpetrator of the attack”.

    Israel has a de facto alliance with Saudi Arabia and GCC backers of the Al Qaeda terrorists who have conducted numerous Chemical Weapons (CW) attacks in Syria.

    Israel possesses the means, the motive, and abundant opportunity to supply Sarin nerve agents and other chemical weapons to the Al Qaeda forces in Syria for the purpose of staging false flag chemical attacks.

    The Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR), an Israeli government defense research facility near Tel Aviv, develops offensive chemical and biological weapons including Sarin.The IIBR facility was involved in an extensive effort to identify practical methods of synthesis for nerve gases (such as Tabun, Sarin, and VX) and other chemical weapons compounds.

    The 26 April 2017 French “National Evaluation” included evidence free claims of a “Clandestine Syrian chemical weapons programme” based on “allegations” of Syrian “chemical use” laundered by Higgins and Kaszeta. The French purportedly based their conclusions on “analysis” of the 29 April 2013 chemical incident at Saraqeb, also in Al Qaeda controlled Idlib.

    BBC News video report of the Saraqeb incident described the smell at the scene as being very strong. The strong odor of alleged aerial “grenades” was described in a statement from the BBC video: “These are smelly, and a lot of them were used.”

    Another lengthy statement from the BBC report on the 2013 Saraqeb incident: “I was not present then, but the FSA members came here and said that those chemicals were dropped on the southwestern side of the town. The injuries varies from bad to minor. The symptoms include constriction of the pupil, forth around the mouth, complete loss of consciousness as result of (inhaling) the smoke. The smoke was smelly, and the guy who rushed to help the victims lost consciousness when he got to the site.”

    Based on 3 confirmed incidents of Al Qaeda controlled “eyewitness” tales of “strong smells” during alleged “air attacks” we can debunk any claims that Sarin is being described by these individuals.

    When pure, Sarin is odorless. When impure or contaminated, Sarin may have a slightly fruity odor, similar to a weak ethyl acetate solution.

    Neither pure nor impure Sarin produce a “horrible, suffocating smell”. Sarin is not capable of “producing strong smells”. Impure Sarin does not smell “like rotten eggs”, “overpowering”, “like cooking gas”, or “like rotten food” as claimed by purported “eyewitnesses”.

    Possible collusion between fake “citizen journalist” bloggers like Higgins and Kaszeta at Bellingcat, and senior officials in the American, French and Israeli governments represents a grave national security concern for the United States.

  21. Abe
    September 7, 2017 at 11:35 pm

    With the September 6 release of the report by the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria, Eliot Higgins of Bellingcat has produced an article reviewing “multiple allegations related to the use of Sarin as a chemical weapon”.
    https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2017/09/06/history-sarin-use-syrian-conflict/

    Higgins insists that the incidents have been “under-covered” when in fact the claims about alleged attacks have been debunked in most instances.

    Both the improvisational nature and specific timing of the alleged chemical incidents indicates that the Al Qaeda affiliate terrorist forces in Syria have used staged incidents and chemical use allegations to gain tactical advantage in the conflict.
    Higgins predictably ignores this, and treats every terrorist allegation as flat fact.

    • Abe
      September 8, 2017 at 12:18 pm

      Bellingcat receives direct funding from the Open Society Foundations (OSF) founded by business magnate George Soros, and from Google’s Digital News Initiatives (DNI).

      Google’s 2017 DNI Fund Annual Report describes Higgins as “a world–leading expert in news verification”.

      Higgins claims the DNI funding “allowed us to push this to the next level”.
      https://digitalnewsinitiative.com/news/case-study-codifying-social-conflict-data/

      In their zeal to propagate the story of Higgins as a courageous former “unemployed man” now busy independently “Codifying social conflict data”, Google neglects to mention Higgins’ role as a “research fellow” for the NATO-funded Atlantic Council “regime change” think tank.

      Despite their claims of “independent journalism”, Eliot Higgins and the team of disinformation operatives at Bellingcat depend on the Atlantic Council to promote their “online investigations”.

      The Atlantic Council donors list includes:

      – US government and military entities: US State Department, US Air Force, US Army, US Marines.

      – The NATO military alliance

      – Large corporations and major military contractors: Chevron, Google, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, BP, ExxonMobil, General Electric, Northrup Grumman, SAIC, ConocoPhillips, and Dow Chemical

      – Foreign governments: United Arab Emirates (UAE; which gives the think tank at least $1 million), Kingdom of Bahrain, City of London, Ministry of Defense of Finland, Embassy of Latvia, Estonian Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Defense of Georgia

      – Other think tanks and think tankers: Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Nicolas Veron of Bruegel (formerly at PIIE), Anne-Marie Slaughter (head of New America Foundation), Michele Flournoy (head of Center for a New American Security), Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings Institution.

      Higgins is a Research Associate of the Department of War Studies at King’s College, and was principal co-author of the Atlantic Council “reports” on Ukraine and Syria.

      Damon Wilson, Executive Vice President of Programs and Strategy at the Atlantic Council, a co-author with Higgins of the report, effusively praised Higgins’ effort to bolster anti-Russian propaganda:

      Wilson stated, “We make this case using only open source, all unclassified material. And none of it provided by government sources. And it’s thanks to works, the work that’s been pioneered by human rights defenders and our partner Eliot Higgins, uh, we’ve been able to use social media forensics and geolocation to back this up.” (see Atlantic Council video presentation minutes 35:10-36:30)

      However, the Atlantic Council claim that “none” of Higgins’ material was provided by government sources is an obvious lie.

      Higgins’ primary “pieces of evidence” are a video depicting a Buk missile launcher and a set of geolocation coordinates that were supplied by the SBU (Security Service of Ukraine) and the Ukrainian Ministry of Interior via the Facebook page of senior-level Ukrainian government official Arsen Avakov, the Minister of Internal Affairs.

      Higgins and the Atlantic Council are working in support of the Pentagon and Western intelligence’s “hybrid war” against Russia.

      The laudatory bio of Higgins on the Kings College website specifically acknowledges his service to the Atlantic Council:

      “an award winning investigative journalist and publishes the work of an international alliance of fellow investigators using freely available online information. He has helped inaugurate open-source and social media investigations by trawling through vast amounts of data uploaded constantly on to the web and social media sites. His inquiries have revealed extraordinary findings, including linking the Buk used to down flight MH17 to Russia, uncovering details about the August 21st 2013 Sarin attacks in Damascus, and evidencing the involvement of the Russian military in the Ukrainian conflict. Recently he has worked with the Atlantic Council on the report “Hiding in Plain Sight”, which used open source information to detail Russia’s military involvement in the crisis in Ukraine.”

      While it honors Higgins’ enthusiastic “trawling”, King’s College curiously neglects to mention that Higgins’ “findings” on the Syian sarin attacks were thoroughly debunked.

      King’s College also curiously neglects to mention the fact that Higgins, now listed as a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council’s “Future Europe Initiative”, was principal co-author of the April 2016 Atlantic Council “report” on Syria.

      The report’s other key author was John E. Herbst, United States Ambassador to Ukraine from September 2003 to May 2006 (the period that became known as the Orange Revolution) and Director of the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center.

      Other report authors include Frederic C. Hof, who served as Special Adviser on Syrian political transition to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2012. Hof was previously the Special Coordinator for Regional Affairs in the US Department of State’s Office of the Special Envoy for Middle East Peace, where he advised Special Envoy George Mitchel. Hof had been a Resident Senior Fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East since November 2012, and assumed the position as Director in May 2016.

      There is no daylight between the Atlantic Council’s “regime change” initiatives and the efforts of Higgins and Bellingcat.

      Thanks to Soros, the Atlantic Council, and Google, it’s a pretty well-funded gig for faux “citizen investigative journalist” Higgins.

      • hyperbola
        September 9, 2017 at 9:22 am

        Impressive research. Why not write it up as an article to which we can link?

      • Olivia
        September 10, 2017 at 10:58 pm

        Thanks Abe for your always informative comments.

  22. September 8, 2017 at 5:29 am

    Thank you for this article and thank you to the many supportive commenters.

    The arguments of regime change propagandists are all based on a decade long demonization campaign of the Syrian Baath leadership. The Baath party is secular, with a program of Arab nationalism and socialism. With this traits it is an annoyance and a threat not only to Islamic fundamentalists and Arab potentates, but also to Israel.

    In Syria itself President Dr. Bashar al-Assad is viewed as soft and compromising and many Syrians think that his father Hafez or Bashar’s brother Bassel, who died in a car accident, would have crushed the demonstrations in Daraa and Homs with overwhelming force, thereby avoiding the tragedy of the Syrian war.

    Syrian policemen initially were not even armed and they only got pistols to defend themselves when armed elements among the demonstrators shot at them. Even then they had to give account of every fired shot. The Mukhabarat undeniably used harsher methods but they only took action after several policemen were killed by demonstrators.

    Several times Dr. Bashar al-Assad tried to calm down the unrest by releasing prisoners and declaring ceasefires, actions which the Islamists and their foreign supporters misunderstood as weakness and which only emboldened them. He was even accused of deliberately releasing jailed Islamists to weaken the secular opposition and “taint the revolution,” an argument which ignores the fact, that the Islamists were in charge from the first day on and a meaningful secular opposition only existed in in Turkish hotel rooms and in the imagination of Western commentators.

    Dr. al-Assad and his wife Asma, both highly educated and meeting western ideals in many respects, were a major headache for the regime change propagandists. The article ”A Rose in the Desert,” by the fashion magazine Vogue, which showed the Assad family in a sympathetic light, had to be hastily removed, the families private emails were intercepted and used for ridiculous accusations of hubris and vanity.

    After nothing was found to incriminate Dr. Assad personally, the image of a bloodthirsty dictator was built based on a series of false flag atrocities, starting with the Houla massacre in 2012, where the UN concluded from eye witness reports that Syrian troops did it, despite the fact that the victims were government supporters.

    Witness reports and photo documents were also the only evidence for most of the other alleged crimes of Dr. Assad, who soon was customarily called “butcher” Assad. The terms Shabiha, Mukhabarat, barrel bombs, East Ghouta gas attack, Caesar photos, Sednaya prison were repeated again and again to become synonymous for Dr. Assad’s immorality and savageness, though any discussion about the terms and associated assumptions was and still is avoided.

    After years of intensive brainwashing for most of the western media audience now shabija, barrel bombs, sarin, Caesar, Sednaya have a strong negative emotional connotation and articles about Syria only need to use one of these words to set the tone. In online forums and comment sections these words likewise are used as contractions and shorthand symbols to affirm the wickedness of President Assad.

    No further proof of the barbarity and ruthlessness of the regime is needed, dissenters are labeled “tin-foil hat conspiracy theorists.” Or just ridiculed: lol….

    I’m glad that at least on ConsortiumNews people still doubt, question, and critically examine the available information. Thank you again!

    Dick Gregory quote: “I buy about $1,500 worth of papers every month. Not that I trust them. I’m looking for the crack in the fabric.”

    • mike k
      September 8, 2017 at 7:16 am

      Thank you for this excellent post. It takes a lot of truth telling to challenge the avalanche of lies the public is drenched with. You can just about assume that whatever the media groupthink puts out, the opposite is the truth. But it helps to counter their lies line by line.

    • Joe Tedesky
      September 8, 2017 at 9:25 am

      Great comment mato48. Since Robert Parry is taking us back in time, and you also mato48 did a beautiful job of that, I too will add a little history to this post.

      Allow me to take you back in time. This is back when right after NATO forces took down Gaddafi. America was proud of itself for helping to bring down the Libyan butcher, or at least at the time that’s what we thought Gaddafi was. Syria wasn’t in the news too much at that time, and the news was all a blast about Obama going into Syria against it being a sovereign nation. The Arab Spring was encouraging to the West, that freedom and liberty would replace Middle East dictatorships. Here is Tony Cartalucci hardly even noticed reporting, where Cartalucci is confused to what Senator John McCain is doing in Benghazi.

      http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2012/03/john-mccain-founding-father-of.html

      If you read the link I left above in this post, it helps to give a little reflection on the past of Syria’s tragic events. Read author Steven Sahiounie ‘The Day before Deraa: How the war broke out in Syria’. While Cartalucci talks about McCain’s strange goings on in Libya, Sahiounie speaks to another type of strange goings on in Deraa the day before the Syrian uprising began.

      With the Syrian, Russian, Iran, and Hezbollah beating ISIS and al Queda out of Syria this chapter of the Yinon Plans implementation is complete, but it didn’t end for Neocon’s the way it was intended. We should not assume that these terrible wars will end. What we could do, is do some reflection to see where we have been, and to study how we got there. I agree with Ron Paul, that America’s Middle East warring started back in 1991 with Desert Storm, and the first invasion of Iraq. This whole unnecessary experience our Neocon strategist has gotten us into in the Middle East when complete will be a voluminous collection of books and essays, but will any of these accounts tell the true story?

      • Skip Scott
        September 8, 2017 at 10:04 am

        Great comment Joe. The neocons and their liberal interventionist sidekicks must be brought to heel if we are to have any hope for peace. I’ve voted for Ron Paul for president a couple times. I don’t entirely agree with his domestic agenda, but he is a principled truth- teller who stands for peace.

        • Joe Tedesky
          September 8, 2017 at 10:24 am

          I have always thought that either Ron Paul, or Dennis Kucinich, would be perfect true tellers to install into the Oval Office, and that they would be a good barometer to test the strength of the ‘Shadow Government – Deep State’. This test run is what we are seeing unfold with the ‘outsider’ Trump, who is now in the grips of this awful mechanism of backroom bullies.

          I appreciate that Robert Parry takes us back once again to the lies which have been told us by our MSM over this Syrian affair. I also think we here should do some reflection to see where we have been, and to get some idea of where we all maybe going in this Middle East epic of Neocon inspired war. Funny, how no matter how you assess these wars of Middle East destruction you always come back to Israel, and Saudi Arabia. Somehow Skip none of this effects Kansas, does it?

          Nice to hear from you Skip. Joe

          • Skip Scott
            September 8, 2017 at 1:42 pm

            Dennis Kucinich is a great man also. I’m surprised he lasted as long as he did in that nest of vipers called Congress. Paul Wellstone was another before his untimely and suspicious plane crash. It’s funny how the neocons and the liberal interventionists never seem to meet untimely ends.

  23. Blake
    September 8, 2017 at 5:50 am

    I never accept anything western media say without questioning it

  24. David G
    September 8, 2017 at 6:45 am

    It seems that Robert Parry is describing the OPCW as part of the UN. I believe it is not. This error or imprecision makes this piece less clear and effective than it would otherwise be.

    • mike k
      September 8, 2017 at 7:23 am

      What is the OPCW?

      • Larco Marco
        September 8, 2017 at 9:45 am

        Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Syria became a member in 2013, after destruction of its chemical weapons. Now, only Israel is a non-member.

    • David Smith
      September 8, 2017 at 9:24 am

      mike k, read the second paragraph of Mr.Parry’s article directly under the first photo that accompanies the article(USS Porter firing a middle) and you will find what the OPCW is.

  25. September 8, 2017 at 8:38 am

    The recent UN report is a complete farce. There are numerous other serious and obvious flaws that render it’s conclusions completely unreliable and bring the whole, sordid, process into disrepute.

    In paragraph 32 it states: “None of the victims had wounds or visible injuries…” – this is utter rubbish. A number of the children had clear head and neck injuries in the victim videos – some of which demonstrably occurred AFTER their alleged rescue by the White Helmets.

    The report makes claims about the wind direction inferred from distant measurements when there are videos available that show smoke clouds from the alleged conventional bombs moving in the OPPOSITE direction.

    The radar-tracks of of the flight paths they include do not actually get to within a mile or so of the alleged craters.

    The witnesses they include contradict many of the statements seen before – particularly from the laughably bad HRW report into the matter.

    For a more complete examination of these flaws see this site, based on the excellent work of the citizen investigators at the ‘Close Look At Syria’ wiki:
    http://libyancivilwar.blogspot.co.uk/

    Also see this for a nicely, maths based assessment of the relative merits of some of the competing accounts of the Khan Sheikhoun incident:
    https://timhayward.wordpress.com/2017/08/31/who-is-responsible-for-chemical-attacks-in-syria-guest-blog-by-professor-paul-mckeigue-part-2/

  26. Otto
    September 8, 2017 at 8:46 am

    Did the Syrian Govt. never at least say that there were no aircraft flights in that morning?

    • David Smith
      September 8, 2017 at 9:48 am

      Otto, go to the top of Mr. Parry’s article and read the two paragraphs directly below the first photo( the USS Porter firing a missle).

  27. September 8, 2017 at 8:56 am

    Robert – were you aware that in HRW’s May ‘Death By Chemicals Report’ they claim to have recorded evidence of the sentry reports?

    On Page 25 they state:

    “Information about aircraft movements corroborate claims that a warplane flew over Khan
    Sheikhoun twice. Human Rights Watch reviewed an audio recording of a sentry message,
    which said a warplane took off from the Shayrat airbase at 6:26 a.m.”

    And ther references on that page say:
    “35. Audio recording of the sentry message on file with Human Rights Watch.”

    You might think that this kind of evidence might be made available to prove this one way or the other, but HRW choose to keep it private. They couldn’t just be making it up could they?

    Personally I think they might be as the rest of the ‘Death By Chemicals’ report is such complete codswallop I felt forced to write a blog on it:

    https://medium.com/@AdrianKent/hrws-death-by-chemicals-report-walking-through-the-smoke-2d6d46ec0db8

    • David Smith
      September 8, 2017 at 10:16 am

      United States military intelligence monitors Syrian airspace with airborne radar and collects all signals intelligence, ground or air. If a Syrian Air Force jet took off from Shayrat at dawn to attack Khan Sheikoun the US would have spotted it on the taxiway and recorded all conversations between the pilot and ground control throughout the mission(jets must be guided by fighter control to the target) and have a radar track of the aircraft for the entire mission.

  28. Chris Chuba
    September 8, 2017 at 9:00 am

    OPCW – Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Here’s a link to the UN Commission’s report http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/IICISyria/Pages/IndependentInternationalCommission.aspx
    I totally concur with Robert Parry, the UN Commission was stacked, ignored contrary evidence, and made erroneous claims.

    “The Commission notes that it is extremely unlikely that an air strike would release sarin potentially stored inside such a structure in amounts sufficient to explain the number of casualties recorded. First, if such a depot had been destroyed by an air strike, the explosion would have burnt off most of the agent inside the building or forced it into the rubble where it would have been absorbed, rather than released in significant amounts into the atmosphere. Second, the facility would still be heavily contaminated today, for which there is no evidence”

    1. They omit the fact that no one has inspected the grounds, so how does ‘the Commission’ know whether or not the grounds are contaminated?
    2. Postol points out that the Bhopal toxic chemical cloud originated from an explosion, so explosions do not destroy chemical agents, why are they speaking authoritatively on this matter, are they quoting the OPCW who are experts, do they have expertise?

    In another place in their report, they make a big issue about how ‘witnesses’ did not detect signs of chlorine but exhibited signs of exposure to nerve agents but ignore a report by one of the few westerners who actually treated victims in Northern Syria, Doctors Without Borders. They indicate that there was an odor on their clothing indicating an exposure to at least two chemical agents http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/country-region/syria
    This makes no sense in the govt origin scenario but would in a secondary explosion scenario.

  29. September 8, 2017 at 9:51 am

    Although it seems Assad and Syria are winning, i think most of us at CN know the ME will never have peace as long as Israel continues needling and warring, as they did in the attack on Syria Thursday. Read “The Conflict in Syria Was Always Israel’s War” by Whitney Webb on Global Research. Wikileaks shows Clinton emails stating that removing Assad is important to Israel in weakening Iran’s influence on the region.

    It is basically US neocon support for the Oded Yinon plan. Israel will not give up, and CN article on Netanyahu meeting with Putin recently shows how anxious Israel is now because of the inability to remove Assad (yet). Israel will continue trying to pull Western allies back into their plans.

    • hillary
      September 8, 2017 at 11:53 am

      “Israel will continue trying to pull Western allies back into their plans.”
      Jessica ,
      good points but don’t you mean Israel will continue trying to put Western pawns back into their places for the Oded Yinon plan to work ?.

    • Joe Tedesky
      September 8, 2017 at 1:49 pm

      I read the Whitney Webb article, and it’s a great run down of what has, and is still going on in Syria regarding Israel’s involvement.

      Jessica read the links I left on this posting block. I think you will enjoy them. Also read what Tony Cartalucci has to say about Syria.

      https://journal-neo.org/2017/08/18/syria-as-the-war-continues-wmd-lies-linger/

  30. Michael Kenny
    September 8, 2017 at 10:47 am

    Mr Parry didn’t read the OPCW report closely enough! Point 5.12, in a section entitled “Narrative”: “At approximately 06:30, alerts were issued via hand-held radios reporting that military jets had departed an airfield and were heading in the general direction of Khan Shaykhun, amongst other areas”. The passage he quotes is from point 5.29, in a section entitled “Interviews conducted in Damascus”. Does Mr Parry really expect us to believe that persons in Damascus, whose identities can be easily ascertained by the Syrian authorities, are going to say anything contrary to the Syrian government’s line? Would they even be in Damascus in the first place if they weren’t loyal to Assad? By not including the claim in point 5.29 in the “Narrative” section, the OPCW is, in effect, saying that it doesn’t believe the claim.

    • Abe
      September 8, 2017 at 12:37 pm

      The Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is Ahmet Uzumcu, a Turkish career diplomat who served as ambassador to Israel from 1999 to 2002, and as the Permanent Representative of Turkey to NATO between 2002 and 2004.

      NATO member state Turkey has been the primary channel for mercenary terrorist forces assaulting the Syrian state. The remaining terrorist forces in the Idlib Governorate continue to be supplied through Syria.

      Since Uzumcu announced the creation of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission in Syria on 29 April 2014, not a single OPCW report has acknowledged these basic facts concerning the conflict in Syria.

      Does anyone really expect us to believe that the OPCW is going to say anything contrary to the US / NATO / Israeli government’s “narrative” about the Syrian conflict?

      But that won’t stop our resident NATO propaganda troll “Michael Kenny” from ignoring the obvious.

    • Skip Scott
      September 8, 2017 at 1:37 pm

      Ka-ching. Another payday for our resident troll.

  31. Andre de Koning
    September 8, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    Amazing how it was clear from the word go that this was not a chemical attack with sarin: bare footed and gloveless helpers of victims and a report within 48 hours by prof Postol how concerning it is to see that people are informed by their own government that this was a chemical attack, completely opposed to what he, as the expert, had reported.
    Propaganda as was part of the allies at the end of WWII, where nobody could really do any forensic work for decades because stories and lack of scientific expertise would not prevail to counter the most ridiculous stories written as history by the victors. Human beings like to believe the greatest lies rather than the ugly truth that says they may be prejudiced.

  32. liam
    September 8, 2017 at 1:47 pm

    The White Helmets Terrorists – Further Extensive Evidence of Direct Collusion with Islamic Terrorist Groups – (Set 4)

    https://clarityofsignal.com/2017/09/08/the-white-helmets-terrorists-further-extensive-evidence-of-direct-collusion-with-islamic-terrorist-groups-set-4/

    Post presents extensive additional evidence that the White Helmets are terrorists linked with the FSA and al-Qaeda in Syria. It will also provide evidence that these groups are being openly promoted by mainstream media and governments in Europe and the United States. It encompasses over 100 screen-captured Facebook images that have been cached from the Facebook accounts of over one dozen White Helmet members and will highlight the fact that the White Helmets post images to their own Facebook accounts that are in support of the FSA and various designated murderous terrorist groups, including al-Nusra Front, Ahrar al-Sham, al-Qaeda, and others.

  33. Tom Welsh
    September 8, 2017 at 4:23 pm

    The only “Syria-sarin certainty” is that the Syrian government has NEVER used chemical weapons (unlike the US government, which did so in Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Syria, Iraq and other countries).

    It is extermely unlikely that anyone has used sarin in Syria. If anyone did, it was the American-funded and American-controlled terrorists.

  34. Mark
    September 9, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    Yes, the OPCW talked to two people who said no planes took off until 11 am. The OPCW report makes clear that these two people were supplied by the Syrian government and that the OPCW could not corroborate their claims. Pages 19 and 21 in their report.

    This report only mentions the two statements to discount them. The very next sentence in this report says: “The Commission has not gathered any information to support this claim, but rather the opposite, as detailed below.” Page 23.

  35. Marlene
    September 9, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    Thank you Robert Parry and Consortium News. Millions throughout the world no longer accept official narratives coming out of Washington, not only when it comes to Syria, but actually what has become a plethora of western news supporting news out of Washington, not supported by thorough investigation to arrive at the full truth. News which Washington bands about as the truth, without any evidence, to further its own interests only.

    Washington’s past operations in Iraq, Libya and in Syria– long before Russia had begun ops there end Sept 2015– pointed to huge discrepancies, which brought about doubt and which few had reason to accept as the truth– because evidence to the contrary was piling up already then. But thank God there are still investigative journalists with moral integrity and the courage to seek and expose the truth.

    Although the international community was initially slow to wake up to the US’ real motives, as most were hard put to believe it, when Russia’s ops commenced in Syria, the stakes suddenly upped to a much higher level. Initially condemned, Russia and the SAA, despite being attacked in the US and western media no end, stoically continued ridding Syria of the terrorist menace and after many meetings between FM Lavrov and then SOS John Kerry, the US became subject to ridicule and people became aware of what was really happening in Syria, When the truth finally dawned, it served to awaken millions around the world to the fact that Syria and Russia are not the aggressors– but were liberating Syria from a terrorist scourge supported by an USA determined to thwart their genuine efforts to return peace and stability in Syria and the ME– and doing so at every turn and without scruples.

    What is puzzling most westerners scattered around the world in smaller countries, is why US leaders have changed so much?! Hardly any nation has ever threatened the US, but yet it seems the US finds enemies where there are none, which it then invades under some pretext or other and ends up decimating such nations. I fear for ordinary Americans, because this is an ongoing horror story and a huge threat to global peace.

  36. John Hermann
    September 10, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    All governments habitually tell lies to their own citizens — and to the rest of the world, if they think they can get away with it. The biggest lies of all have been told by U.S. politicians to a generally unwary and dumbed-down populace. Sleepers awake!

  37. September 12, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    Good stuff.

  38. Victor
    September 13, 2017 at 7:31 am

    Directly after the 4 April 2017 attack, witnesses told the media that there was a peculiar smell, the UN report ignores these witnesses because that does not fit in the Sarin storyline. Looking at motives it is highly unlikely that the Assad regime did the attack being on the winning hand. Therefore supects must be looked for on the side of terrorist supporters. Furthermore it is very unlikely that the UN finds any reliable witnesses on either side of the conflict, neither on the ground, nor within the intelligence agencies. Still it seems to rely on these sources to draw its conclusions.

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